ARF’s Activities in Armenia Highlighted at Sunday’s Celebration

Melkon Melkonian

GLENDALE–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, as an active participant in Armenia’s political life, has and will continue to pursue the national aspirations of the Armenian people through rule of law to serve the Armenian people, said ARF’s Supreme Council chairman Armen Rustamian during a discussion at the annual ARF Day Celebration at Glendale High School on Sunday, when more than 1,500 community members gathered to mark the party’s 116th anniversary. Rustamian, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affairs, presented his commen’s in an interview format conducted by Seto Boyadjian who touched on ARF’s participation in the government’s executive and legislative branches, as well as discussed the party’s future plans. "The role of the party in the legislative sphere is to strengthen the political and electoral process. Through the legislative mechanism, the ARF aims to fight against corruption and poverty, improve social conditions and quality of life," said Rustamian, in response to a question about the party’s role in the legislative branch of the government. The ARF leader also added that his party also worked toward increasing the parliament’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process. He highlighted the law on dual citizenship, which is being debated in parliament now, as one of its achievemen’s and vowed, through rule of law, make changes that will benefit the people of Armenia. Rustamian went on to praise the Diaspora for its role in strengthening the Armenian state through financial contributions and investmen’s and equally through activism in pursuing Armenian issues in the political sphere. He hailed the newly adopted constitution in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, calling to a step toward establishing a democratic state. Rustamian enumerated the strengthening of democratic institutions and democracy, the just resolution of the Karabakh conflict, helping the new leadership of Armenia (following the 2007 parliamentary and 2008 presidential polls) to confront new challenges and by uniting the Armenian people strengthen homeland, as its priorities for the upcoming two years. In his remarks, ARF Western Region Central Committee chairman Avedik Izmirlian highlighted the activities of the party and its affiliate bodies and praised the community for its support. "The ARF, whether in Armenia or the Diaspora, is ready and willing to work with all organizations and forces for whom the interests of the Armenian people are of utmost importance," said Izmirlian in his remarks. Joining the 1,500 community members at the celebration were Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Father Andon Saroyan of the Armenian Catholic Church, Pastor Joe Mathosian of the Armenia Evangelical Church, Armenia’s Consul General to Los Angeles, Armen Liloyan, Armenia’s deputy minister of education Bagrat Yessayan, ARF Bureau member Dr. Vicken Hovsepian, representatives of the Armenia Democratic League (Ramkavar Party) and the Social-Democratic Hunchakian Party, members of the Glendale City Council, as well as representatives of affiliate organizations and bodies working in the community. Before the opening ceremony, the participants observed a moment of silence in memory of all freedom fighters who have martyred their lives for the freedom of our homeland. The Homenetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter scouts commenced the flag ceremony, following which the national anthems were presented by Ivanna Grigorian. Singer Ara Sahakian performed the ARF anthem. Master of Ceremonies, Melkon Melkonian welcomed the community and presented a brief overview of the ARF’s activities and the important role it plays in the community. The Armenia Youth Federation Central Executive Chairman Saro Shirinian highlighted the organization’s commitment toward pursuing the Armenian Cause and pledged the Armenian youth’s willingness and participation in furthering the mission of the ARF. Taking part in the cultural portion of the program were singers Armen Movsesian, Gor Mkhitarian, Element, Nersig Ispirian, Ara Sahakian and Shahe Sekaian. A video presentation entitled "One People, One Struggle" chronicled the ARF’s service to the Armenian people throughout history.

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